NOT ALL CANCER IS PINK

 Our sister Carrie Heim West is the most giving person you could know.  She readily gives and helps others without hesitation and without ever asking for anything in return. Carrie gives selflessly to everyone in our family. She is Gary's wife and Tyler's mother. She is a Daughter, a friend and has always been a loving and generous Aunt to her nieces and nephews. She is also our sister and has always been my go to for everything throughout our entire lives. She is a hard worker, and a genuine good person. So this story begins ten years ago when Carrie was experiencing headaches that became increasing more painful, painful enough she took herself to the ER, where an MRI found a large tumor pressing on the frontal lobe of her brain.  Immediately she was transported to Duke University Hospital in Durham, where Doctors rushed to preform an emergency Craniotomy. (brain surgery) During surgery a tumor the size of a golf ball was successfully removed. The tumor was biopsied and thankfully it was benign.(not-cancerous) Although Carrie still had a long and arduous recovery before she would be  able to return to her home and eventually back to work. During her recovery  Carrie wasn't able to tolerate any stimuli of any sort, no talking, no light, no loud sounds, so she spent a lot of time alone, in a darkened room with only her thoughts for several weeks as she recovered, but she never complained. Carrie's Doctors diligently warned her that this tumor can possibly return, and suggested to Carrie that she get brain scans occasionally to monitor for any new tumor. As the years passed with all negative brain scans, the possibility of a another tumor seem less and less likely. Until a several weeks ago, Carrie again started to have headaches, this time much worse than before. These headaches incapacitated her, Carrie went back to her Doctor and was diagnosed with a virus, although Carrie told them it was something more, she knew something wasn't right. Still their prognosis????....a VIRUS. After a couple more weeks of pain, she again in desperation goes to the ER for her symptoms, again her MRI shows a tumor in between her frontal lobe and skull, but this one is much larger with so much swelling it was pushing  apart the 2 lobes, causing extreme pressure. She is again transported to Duke University Hospital, where  Doctors are amazed could not believe how much pain they knew she had tolerated,  and amazed that she hadn't passed out or had a seizure due to pressure caused by the large tumor and swelling. Doctors schedule emergency surgery for that day Thursday, Sept 13. Same day Hurricane Florence made landfall. After 5 hour]]0 Surgery but everything goes well. The whole family is able to breathe a little bit after the successful surgery and knowing Carrie isn't going to be in pain anymore. Its terrible to watch someone you love, go thru such pain. There's nothing you can do to help them, the feeling of helplessness is overwhelming. So the recovery process begins, at the same time the area we live in NC is federally declared disaster area, everything is flooded.  4 days after surgery Gary (Carrie's husband) receives a call from Duke University Hospital he is told that they had biopsied the tumor they removed, but its not the same type of tumor as the last time as we all had just assumed. This tumor is malignant, It's a very aggressive type of cancer Grade 4 Glioblastoma brain cancer, and that Carrie would need to start radiation and chemotherapy. This families world was forever changed that day. Carrie,  43 years old and she has terminal cancer?!? Carrie goes back to Duke and they explained to her that there is no cure for the type of cancer she has, it is extremely aggressive and is growing more every day. Most people pass away within 12 to 18 months that's with taking chemo and radiation to slow it down, there are no other options.  If she has any chance to prolong her life she has to start treatments immediately.  She has insurance but even with her insurance it will still cost them $1,000 a week and since she is no longer able to work that is going to be extremely difficult to afford33271302_1539913441434357_r.jpeg33271302_1539913454839035_r.jpeg33271302_1539913477767670_r.jpeg33271302_153991350375857_r.jpeg33271302_1539912250119725_r.jpeg. They were a 2 income family that was comfortable and literally overnight they became a one income family that additionally has  just acquired a lot of unexpected expenses. We are a family that always tries to help others, now we are on side if needing help. Please help us to possibly help Carrie be one of the very few survivors of this terrible disease. Thank you the time to read our sister's story.

Donations (0)

  • Mickey Johnson 
    • $25 
    • 10 mos
  • Andrea Sawyer 
    • $50 
    • 10 mos
  • Becky Heim Madere 
    • $100 
    • 10 mos
  • Paula Pfab Kamm 
    • $50 
    • 10 mos
  • Elizabeth Gilliam 
    • $100 
    • 10 mos

Fundraising team: Fundraising team (4) 

Laura Heim Oller 
Organizer
Dunn, NC
Kendra Savage 
Team member
Peggy McLeod 
Team member
Adam Savage 
Team member
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